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Are you ready for some football?

September 07, 2007|By ROBERT KELLER

It's that time of year again. No, it's not quite time for the Super Bowl, but the NFL has begun its 2007-08 season.

The Indianapolis Colts played the New Orleans Saints in the season kickoff game Thursday, Sept. 6. Indianapolis, winner of the Super Bowl in February, showed it's still a championship team with a 41-10 trouncing of the Saints.

What will this season hold? I can only predict what could happen until it does happen.

Last season, I made predictions every week as to who would win each game. In this column, however, I will make long-term predictions - who will take the division title in each division.

Being the stronger league, the AFC is harder to call, but I predict that the Baltimore Ravens will take the AFC North, the Jacksonville Jaguars will prevail in the AFC South, the New York Jets will win in the AFC East, and the Denver Broncos will be tops in the AFC West.

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In the NFC, I predict that the Chicago Bears will take the NFC North, the Carolina Panthers will win in the NFC South, the Washington Redskins will win in the NFC East and the Los Angeles Rams will take the NFC West.

It's anyone's guess where the playoffs will go from there.

Each year, everyone wants to know if last season's Super Bowl champ will repeat. My answer is no. Of all the Colts players who competed in the Super Bowl, there are only a few good players left. On defense, they've got Dwight Freeney and that's about it. On the offense, you've got Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. They don't have the same players to help generate and propel the offense and defense to victory. Despite Thursday night's performance, I think it could take beyond this year for the Colts to get anywhere close to what they were last season.

The preseason is finished for this year. Now, we must look to what matters in getting to the Super Bowl: winning in the regular season. It's going to be a long haul, but I'll be there every step of the way.

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